The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

Can cook, shouldn’t cook?

on January 18, 2015

I like to think that I can cook. I like to think that I can bake too. I enjoy making something from scratch, it feels like I’ve achieved something creative without losing interest and abandoning the project halfway through like with all things involving my sewing machine and swathes of material. Increasingly, I like knowing what’s in my food and making an effort to curb all the bad things that makes food so good.

I grew up surrounded by chefs. Inspired by family who can create dishes in minutes without following a recipe. For ten years I was shelling prawns, peeling onions, cracking eggs, chopping up mushrooms and whipping up quite a few numbers of your local Chinese takeaway menu you could care to mention. Inbetween barring any late night rowdy revellers behind the safety of the 5 foot serving counter that separated me and them.

In other words, with that kind of background I feel quite comfortable in the kitchen with a recipe book and weighing scales.

I’m not so keen on long complicated recipes that have many ingredients; anything that involves pastry; making your own stock from scratch; making offal less awful or employing techniques outside of peeling, chopping, blending, mashing, stirring and folding. I’m not so inventive I can devise my own menus nor tell you what a dish is lacking in flavour of unless it’s a bit of salt and pepper.

I have a book shelf creaking under the weight of numerous multicultural cook books and yet end up rotating the same trusted recipes that require little thought in the kitchen and is met with approval by the majority of the family. Sometimes though I feel the need to try out something new from one of the numerous multicultural cook books on my creaking book shelf.

But perhaps this sort of activity shouldn’t be pursued when you have one of those days where your usually well kept fridge with it’s potential for gourmet culinary delights is looking a little lacklustre. And when you just haven’t felt inspired enough on a weekend to get to the supermarket to regain that well kept fridge with it’s potential for gourmet culinary delights and your only option is to chance upon a supermarket that is even less well stocked than your own fridge, which is what happened today.

So Plan A went out of the window but with my confidence in the kitchen, I thought I would just whip up something based loosely on the recipe I was going to use from Bill’s Open Kitchen. I’m sure he’s not going to mind I’m substituting all his recommended vegetables for the semi wilting cos lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber in my fridge, spruced up with some edamame beans from the freezer that I have three bags of and instead of snapper fillets, we’ll just have to have a vegetarian alternative instead. I have all the ingredients for the salad dressing and as I’m not able to cut out carbs entirely I’m throwing in some bulgar wheat which sort of feels healthier but may turn out to be twice as carb heavy as white rice and pasta.

I’m industriously putting all this together in a big salad bowl in the kitchen quite pleased that I’ve cobbled something together using ingredients we already have in and which now won’t go to waste. I’m quite excited that I’ve shook up a new salad dressing that is fat free. Whilst not being in the Domestic Goddess league, I’m quite pleased that I’ve tried out something new and improvised on it.

Just as Husband is about to take #3 off to her bed, I’m walking out of the kitchen and placing our dinner on the dining table. Right at that moment, Husband raises his head like a meerkat and says, ‘Who’s been sick? What’s that smell of sick?’ and goes off in search of phantom vomit puddles. Hotly pursued by #1 and 2 who find vomit puddles strangely fascinating.

Brilliant. Never trust a salad dressing that involves fish sauce.

When he gives up the search for phantom vomit puddles, I tell him, ‘I think it may be your dinner.’

Yes, and just like that, I used to think that I could cook.



3 responses to “Can cook, shouldn’t cook?

  1. sanity4mummy says:

    Mmmm, nice. Fear not, everyone is allowed an off day. X


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